From Ave Maria Meditations
SAINT JOSEPH’S TRIPLE CROWN
Let us glance summarily at Saint Joseph’s life, taking first a view of the whole and then concentrating more in detail on his prerogatives and virtues. An extensive study will never fully uncover them nor diminish in any way the ardor of our admiration. The dignity, the sanctity, and the power of Saint Joseph are like three gems in a diadem:
His dignity. Saint Joseph is a man of God, His representative, His ambassador. From the Eternal Father he received the commission to guard His adorable Son Whom He loves as Himself with an infinite love and to watch over Mary, the most beloved of all His creatures. He is head of the Holy Family, father of the trinity on earth which resembles so closely the Holy Trinity on high. Josue commanded the sun; but here is the true Josue who guides at will the Creator of the sun.
His sanctity. His sanctity does him more honor than his dignity, for he received the most abun?dant gifts of infused holiness. Some authors main?tain that Saint Joseph was sanctified from his mother’s womb and endowed with all the graces and favors ever granted the other saints. “He was just man. This best describes his holiness. He prac?ticed every virtue to a heroic degree. The Gospel portrays his charity, his purity, his perfect obedi?ence, his devoted affection for Jesus, his humility, his love for the simple and hidden life. Medita?tion on the mysteries in which he took part reveal his most sublime sanctity. That expression-“He was just” -sets the seal upon his perfect holiness.
His power. God bestows upon him a power equal to his dignity as a fitting reward for his sanctity. Jesus and Mary not only bent their wills to Joseph’s, for he was the head of the Holy Family, but they lovingly surrendered their hearts to him as well. He had a right over all the riches of His Son, and these were the treasures of the Divinity. He had a right too over the goods of his spouse, who was richer by far than all the saints together. In heaven the Sovereign of an?gels and men still calls Saint Joseph father, while Mary, the Queen of heaven and earth, calls him her spouse and honors him as such.
St. Peter Julian Eymard (Month of St. Joseph)
THOUGHT FROM SAINT BERNARD: ? If you want to form an idea of Saint Joseph’s greatness, consider that by a divine privilege he merited to bear the title “Father of Jesus.” Re?flect too that his own name “Joseph” means “an increase’. Keeping in mind the great patriarch Joseph, sold by his brothers in Egypt, understand that our Saint has inherited not only his name, but even more, his power, his innocence, and his sanctity. As the patriarch Joseph stored the wheat not for himself, but for the people in their time of need, so Joseph has received a heavenly commission to watch over the living Bread not for himself alone, but for the entire world.
A THOUGHT FROM ST. TERESA OF AVILA: I took for my patron and lord the glorious Saint Joseph, and recommended myself earnestly to him. I cannot call to mind that I have ever asked him at any time for anything that he has not granted; and I am filled with amazement when I consider the great favors which God has given me through this blessed saint; the dangers from which he has delivered me, both of body and soul.
To other saints our Lord seems to have given grace to succor men in some special necessity, but to this glorious saint, I know by experience, to help us in all; and our Lord would have us understand that as he was himself subject to him upon earth, ?for Saint Joseph, having the title of Father and being his guardian, could command him, ?so now in heaven he performs all his petitions. This is what other persons have proved to whom I have given counsel to recommend themselves to Saint Joseph, and there are many who are now of late devout to him, having had experience of this truth. Would that I could persuade all men to be devout to this glorious saint, for I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God. I have never known anyone who was really devout to him, and who honored him by particular services, who did not visibly grow more and more in virtue, for he helps in a special way those souls who commend themselves to him.
?It is now some years since I have always on his feast asked him for something, and I always have it. If the petition be in any way amiss, he directs it aright for my greater good. I ask, for the love of God, that he who does not believe me will make the trial for himself, when he will see by expe?rience the great good that results from commending oneself to this glorious patriarch, and being devout to him. Those who give themselves in prayer should, in a special manner, have always a devotion to Saint Joseph, for I know not how any man can think of the Queen of the Angels, during the time that she suf?fered so much with the Infant Jesus, without giving thanks to Saint Joseph for the services he rendered them then. He who cannot find anyone to teach him to pray, let him take this glorious saint for his master, and he will not wander out of the way.